Popular avocado storage method ‘you shouldn’t follow’ or risk illness

Avocado is a bright green fruit with a large pit and dark leathery skin. They’re also known as alligator pears or butter fruit and are a hugely popular fruit, with over 6,000 sold every hour in the UK. 

But they are tempermental; one day they are hard as a rock and the next they are seemingly past their best. 

Express.co.uk spoke to Charles Haverfield, Packaging Executive from US Packaging and Wrapping about the best ways to store avocados, and why a viral storage hack should be “avoided”. 

He said: “There are different ways you should store avocados, depending on how ripe they are and how soon you want to eat them.

“If you have a ripe avocado that you’re planning to eat within a day or two, or your avocados are not yet ripe, leave them out on your countertop away from bright light. 

“Room temperature will allow avocados to keep ripening which won’t be a problem if you want to chow down quickly.

“However, if you’re looking to keep your fruit fresh for a longer period, popping them in the fridge will slow down the ripening process. 

“Freezing avocado slices is another solution for those that want their avocados to last for several months, but aren’t as concerned about texture.” 

Chris added: “One viral hack you shouldn’t follow is keeping avocados in water. 

“Submerging avocados in water might seemingly help them to stay fresh but doing so will put them at greater risk of contamination. 

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“Damp conditions make the perfect breeding ground for nasty bacteria such as listeria and salmonella, so avoid this trend to prevent illness.”

Instead, put the half into a food hugger, or wrap in cling film. You can also store half an avocado in a container with lemon juice squirted on top, or wrapped in beeswax wrap

As for why avocado flesh turns brown when cut, Chris explained: “Avocados are highly perishable fruits and are particularly vulnerable to browning once they’ve been cut. This is because, like many fruits, avocados have an enzyme called polyphenol oxidase which reacts when oxidisation happens. 

“Once the avocado’s flesh comes into contact with oxygen, a reaction happens that changes the pigment to brown and reduces the quality and texture of the fruit.

“Because of this, it’s best to leave cutting your avocado for as long as possible before eating to ensure you have the best quality avocado.” 

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